Beltrami County deer farmer contesting responsibility for exclusionary fence

A Beltrami County deer farmer is contesting responsibility for an exclusionary fence built to protect wild deer from chronic wasting disease.

According to documents from the Minnesota Board of Animal Health, the deer farm first came on their radar in the fall of 2020 after CWD-exposed deer came to the herd from Winona County.

Ultimately, the entire deer herd was depopulated. Last spring, the farmer, identified in public records as Dean Page, disposed of possibly CWD-infected carcasses on nearby tax-forfeited land.

Researchers from the U of M located CWD-causing prions in some of the scavenged remains.

The board ordered Page to clear vegetation and construct the $194,000 fence, and to be responsible for its upkeep and maintenance for the next 20 years.

The DNR ultimately constructed the exclusionary fence around 11-acres in the Hines area as Page has contested the animal health board’s order.

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